On Life and Love After 50. New romance scams target American women
Another scam email arrived in my inbox this week, sent from Ethan Armour, email@example.com. It read, “please did you get my previous message about you being a beneficiary to a late client?I will make provision for all relevant document needed and then we can both share the proceed . please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org”
A quick look at the grammar in this email reveals multiple mistakes; it’s obviously a scam, and a lame one at that.
As I am sure all of our savvy Champs would do, I marked the email as fraudulent and deleted it.
The same day, Champ George, of San Francisco, forwarded an Internet article he found on Yahoo.com, written by Stuart Grudgings, that was posted on Reuters, titled, “American women targeted as Malaysia becomes Internet scam haven: U.S.”
I know we’ve discussed romance scams before, but this one has a bit of a modern twist to it. I never want any of our Champs to fall for a scam, so I think it’s worth mentioning the subject again. Thanks to George for bringing it to my attention.
Grudgings’ article stated, “The mostly Nigerian conmen, who enter Malaysia on student visas, take advantage of the country’s good Internet infrastructure to prey on lonely, middle-aged women, wooing them on dating websites before swindling their savings.”
Grudgings said that scammers are, “…helped by Malaysia’s banking system allows perpetrators to quickly set up accounts and receive international transfers.”
The article indicated that two American women have lost $250,000 each in the past twelve months, which often amounts to a person’s entire life’s savings: “There are more than 600 cases a year, and the amount lost by each victim averages in the tens of thousands of dollars.”
How sad that these victims are so lonely and naïve that they allow themselves to be swindled.
How do these scams work? Grudgings’ article stated, “Large teams of scammers typically trawl dating or Christian websites and contact middle-aged women…They pretend to be a Western man who then gets into legal or business difficulties in Muslim-majority Malaysia.”
One of the victims in the article said she had met a man on Match.com. It should be pointed out that most American dating sites, including Match.com, have prominent warnings about scammers on their sites.
The more knowledge about scams—of any kind--that we Champs gain, the less our chances of becoming victims. Another email forwarded to me this week by Champ Chris has to do with a travel scam. Chris travels often to be with his woman friend in England. Many of you travel as well. The email stated:
“You check in at your hotel front desk. Typically when checking in, you give the front desk your credit card (for any charges to your room). You go to your room and settle in. All is good.
“The hotel receives a call and the caller asks for (as an example) room 620 - which happens to be your room. The phone rings in your room. You answer and the person on the other end says the following: 'This is the front desk. We came across a problem with your charge card information. Please re-read me your credit card number, expiration date, and verify the security code on the reverse side of your card.’
“Not thinking anything wrong, since the call seems to come from the front desk, you oblige. But actually, it is a scam by someone calling from outside the hotel. They have asked for a random room number, then ask you for your credit card information. They sound so professional, you think you are talking to the front desk.
“If you encounter this scenario on your travels, tell the caller that you will be down to the front desk to clear up any problems. Then, go to the front desk or call directly and ask if there was a problem.
“If there was none, inform the manager of the hotel that someone tried to scam you of your credit card information, acting like a front desk employee.
“This was sent by someone who has been duped and is still cleaning up the mess.”
I hope today’s tips help. If any of you care to share your experiences with scams, email them to me.
Next week, back to the trials and tribulations of dating after—oh, just pick an age—50, 60, 70 or 80. By 90, you should be settled in.